By Jack Dickinson
The Pop charts have been relatively uninteresting for most of the year. So far on Billboard, the top album of the year had been the soundtrack to the Disney film, Frozen, and the top singles of the summer have been from Magic! a “Cod” Reggae band from Canada and Iggy Azalea, who although is not a terrible rapper, her appeal seems to be due largely to the fact that she looks like Nicki Minaj’s film negatives.
It’s for those reasons that it’s a bit of an anomaly that Awesome Mix Vol.1, the soundtrack to the Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy, has so far made it into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart and even peaked at No.1, only until being taken off the top spot by Wiz Khalifa’s new album.
Why would one find this so unusual? Because it’s the first album of it’s kind to do so. Normally when Soundtracks chart so high, they’re usually composed of original, relevant material, not pop songs that were released more than 40 years ago.
Nevertheless, it is an excellent selection and it serves for music listeners as a time capsule of some of the top hits of the 1970s, just as it does for Peter Quill (Starlord) in the film.
Soul music is well represented with selections from Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5 and the Five Stairsteps. The Runaway’s 1976 single, “Cherry Bomb”, gives us a glimpse of the punk movement that swept the music world as a reaction against the decadence and excess of progressive rock and disco. Hard Rock has it’s place with the Raspberries’ Beatle-esque 1972 hit, “Go All The Way”, as well as Norman Greenbaum’s 1969 release, “Spirit in the sky”, as well as David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”, which is a perfect track for a Sci-Fi flick like this one.
And of course, what would a compilation of ‘70s music be without slow jams to listen to with your “lady”. Rupert Holmes “Pina Colada Song”, as well as some songs by Elvin Bishop and 10cc are prominently featured on the album. Interestingly, for a ‘70’s compilation, there doesn’t seem to be much disco music. That is, unless you count Blue Swede’s 1974 hit, “Hooked on A Feeling” to be. Then again, you’d probably be more likely to put it in the bubblegum pop category along with Redbone’s, “Come and Get Your Love”, which is also on the album. Overall, this is a great soundtrack to a great film.